Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hard to soft sometimes...

When Hu Jintao said he wanted China to expand it's soft power, he said that there needed to be more focus on the Chinese arts and culture. He wanted to go soft, abroad. You know—eliminate the unsightly fact that Canada and Mexico do not seek help from China to protect it from the United States.

Yet China’s neighbors are scrambling to form alliances against the giant up north.Vietnam is not to keen on its burgeoning neighbors claims to new fishing area and casual mass arrests of its fisherman— the once hostile country has an alliance with the US. Add to the list many other counties in the area.
Many Chinese people imagine neighboring countries siding with the West as an iron ring around China, their country for nefarious reasons and undefined goals. These are the beliefs promoted by the state controlled and regulated media.

But Hu wants to go soft. He wants Chinese movies, Chinese music, Chinese pop-culture to find niches abroad. (Sorry Hu, the tweens of today and the leaders of tomorrow don’t care about Confucius).
And the pop music all sounds the same. Upbeat, peppy, similar beats rythyms--even if I can't understand all of the lyrics.

As Liu Sijia, a Shanghai rock musician said to the New York Times five years ago
“What prevails here is worse than garbage, because China emphasizes stability and harmony, the greatest utility of these pop songs is that they aren't dangerous to the system."

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